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Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale) - Founders Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale)Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale)

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
90
outstanding

3,630 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 3,630
Reviews: 1,107
rAvg: 4.01
pDev: 10.97%
Wants: 139
Gots: 685 | FT: 47
Brewed by:
Founders Brewing Company visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
Old Ale |  9.80% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
50 IBU
Old ale brewed with molasses and oak-aged.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 08-31-2005)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,630 | Reviews: 1,107 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of gmfessen
3.7/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Saw this on the shelves on a recent trip back to MI, haven't had it so I had to pick it up. Poured from the bottle into a mini snifter beer is a clear, deep ruby-orange color with a thin head comprised of many fine bubbles which quickly dissipates to just a thin ring around the snifter. Small bits of lacing are left around the glass. The nose is slightly subdued with sweet dark fruit like raisins and figs dominating and slight fusel alcohol also present. The taste has another dimension of fruity complexity, slightly sweet with lots of dextrins, bittered almost to balance but still slightly sweet. The mouthfeel is full bodied with an almost dead carbonation and a dry, alcohol finish. As far as drinkability goes, this is definitely a sipper. A good beer for a night cap sitting by a fire on a cold winters evening.

gmfessen, Oct 03, 2009
Photo of Marcrates
3.55/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Appearance - Pours a dark, amber brown. It appears thick, with a thin creamy head.

Smell - Smells sweet and sugary, with a hint of raisin?

Taste - A little thick and "syrupy" for my taste. It isn't a bad taste, but it is definitely a bit like molasses. The after taste has a little bite, but it quickly fades and is a little anti climactic.

Mouthfeel - Besides smell, this is the best trait of this beer. Feels creamy, rich, and full.

Drinkability - If you like thick and sugary drinks, you may give drinkability on this one a higher rating. For me, however, I can only drink one of these at a time. This isn't a beer a would choose for a session.

Overall I can't say I hate or love it. I would definitely have it again, but only when I'm in the mood for something sugary.

Marcrates, Sep 27, 2009
Photo of DefenCorps
3.68/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

czoch75 sent me a bottle of this last year, and I figured this fine Sunday is a worthy occasion to crack it. IIRc, this is the 2008 release

The pour is a mostly clear ruby red, marred by a slightly careless pour that results in a bunch of floating particles in the beer. A thin, tan head rises briefly, settling into a ring rather quickly.

Sweet, rich and malty on the nose, with plums, raisins, rum, brown sugar, beets, honey and alcohol. Quite deep and rich, and thoroughly acceptable. Mild oxidation is noticeable with a combination of sherry and cardboard. Slight fusel aroma is present, with the spicy character associated with it.

Opens sweet, with a more straightforward sugary sweet character with honey and brown sugar dominating. The fruit character that I picked up on the nose isn't as noticeable, and there's a mild date character present. Rum and raisins with a spicy rye character is noticeable. I'm getting a little bit of toffee before the finish that's a sweet with a bit of alcohol and a little bitterness that's burnt caramel in character.

Medium-full in body with an excellent, lush, creamy carbonation, this beer feels pretty awesome on the palate. The finish is a little disappointing in that it isn't very flavorful.

A definite sipper, I'm actually liking this.

DefenCorps, Sep 27, 2009
Photo of Traquairlover
3.73/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12-oz bottle poured into a tulip.

A = Very hazy amber with only a slight head -- orange on pour but settling out to an off white ring of bubbles around edge of glass. Low carbonation.

S & T = Smells of maple syrup, coconut and vanilla, with tastes of the same. I get a really strong flavor of coconut and a hint of sweet pineapple, almost like a Pina Colada. Also some flavors of spices and hay. Relatively sweet, good long finish.

M = Medium-heavy body, very good mouthcoating, low carbonation not quite as luxurious as I would like, but decent.

D = It tastes good and goes down easily but it also gets a bit cloying, so I cannot recommend it as having high drinkability.

Traquairlover, Sep 26, 2009
Photo of largadeer
3.73/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Murky. Hazy. Turbid. Tons of shit in suspension. The head lingers for a surprising amount of time, given the style and strength.

Fruity aroma. Dates. Sugar, brown. Earth. Soil. Wood. The trees and forest. Pine needles. Spicy. Caramel. Much aroma.

Taste strong. Rye bread. Earth and soil. Strong. Alcoholic. Caramel. Much flavor. Thick. Fruit. Rum. Raisins. Rum raisins. Bitterness. Tannins. Grain. This is beer. Hello.

largadeer, Sep 25, 2009
Photo of mdwalsh
4.55/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a dark orange/copper/amber/golden color with a two finger, small bubbled head. Some active carbonation, and food lacing/head retention.

S: A good strength, not weak but not overwhelming. Very fruity and effervescent. Maybe a little hoppy, herbal if anything. I sort of hoped for a little something darker and fuller, but still good.

T: Hmm, fruity and perhaps a little boozy. Not super smooth, but it works. The hops are much more evident. Though that mellows pretty quick. It reminds me of an aged DIPA. The malt profile is very interesting. At first it really helps push the sharpness of the hops, but then, as my tongue gets more used to that bite, it becomes much much more mellow and smooth. I really like it, I think it just needs to reach the right temp. I hesitate to call it perfect, because it's my first old ale, but I may revisit this guy.

M: Smooth and creamy, but pretty light. Low carbonation which is exactly what I wanted here. This is pretty much perfect to me. Light enough to not feel flat, but giving me not the slightest indication of gasiness.

D: Very, which makes it a dangerous brew at this ABV.

mdwalsh, Sep 25, 2009
Photo of mothman
3.85/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into Matilda Chalice

Pours hardly any creamy white head. Fades to a thin ring around the glass that sticks around, but no lace. Color is a robust burnt copper. Beer has sediment floating around in it.

Aroma: I get alcohol, plums, grapes, honey, raisins, figs, brown sugar, earthy hops. This beer is very complex, as it should be.

Taste: I can definitely taste the alcohol in this beer as it is quite hot. A lot of dark dried fruits, grapes, raisin, plums are here. Figs, brown sugar, raisins, and honey also present. A lot similar to the smell. I also get an apple taste as well. Hops are pretty much covered by the heat, but they are there.

Mouthfeel: Boozy, creamy, and somewhat smooth. Medium to full body. Medium level of carbonation. Ends with a boozy dried fruit flavored aftertaste.

Overall, I know this is an old ale and thus going to have a lot of alcohol, but the heat is just to much for me. I am slowly sipping on this one and it will take a while to finish. It is good, but I bet a few years might do serve it well.

mothman, Sep 23, 2009
Photo of projectflam86
3.8/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours a deep murky orange/toffee color with a thin white foam head that leaves some scattered lacing.

S- Coconut, alcohol, and dark fruit are by far the easiest scents to pick out. Fairly musty.

T- A nice caramel/toffee flavor initially that gives way to fruit and coconut tastes in the finish. The alcohol is quite prominent and the aftertaste is similar to a coconut rum.

M- Decent carbonation and a medium/full body.

D- A decent brew that didn't quite live up to expectations.

projectflam86, Sep 20, 2009
Photo of brewdoc75
4.35/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I'm a huge fan of a good old ale. As I am planning to brew one this weekend, I thought I'd give this a try. I have a four pack squirreled away for aging. This is about 6 months old. I'm sure it gets better with age.

A: Amber to brown with beautiful amber hues. A minimal white head sits on top, but dies to nothingness quickly. Carbonation is light to medium.

S: Caramel, toffee, raisins, and plums. This is followed by a hint of oak and vanilla. Nice and complex. Very inviting.

T: Starts out with velvety caramel and toffee. This shifts to raisin and plum fruitiness. The end is full of vanilla and oak. The aftertaste has a hint of bourbon like flavors. The hops balance out the bitterness and add just a hint of citrus. Just enough alcohol to keep it warm and complex. Finishes with moderate, brown sugar sweetness. A very flavorful old ale.

M: Velvety, smooth, lightly carbonated and rich. Very nice.

D: This is a very nice old ale. Definitely one of my favorites. This one is a bit young, but still fantastic. I bet it will age with the best of em. The toughest part about aging this beer will be the waiting. It may not make it another year or two. If I see another 4-pack, I'm picking one up.

brewdoc75, Sep 19, 2009
Photo of ricke
3.65/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Dark amber with a small off-white head that leaves a ring of lacings.

S: The smell is malty (caramel and fudge) with notes of ripe fruit (grapes, strawberries?) vanilla and spices. It's a rather rich smell. It's good, but something seems off, like it's going downhill or something.

T: A malt-forward beer with a pleasant taste of caramel and toffee. Lots of fruity notes. The taste is sweet but balancing spicy notes level the sweetness. Here's also an interesting note of vanilla. The finish has some nice bitterness to it and notes of wood and malts.

M: Medium body with a rather creamy and slick texture.

D: A decent beer. But Old ales raise my expectations and this one didn't really meet them. There are far better examples of the style.

ricke, Sep 16, 2009
Photo of ditch
3.78/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured a dark orangish red with an off white head that fades quickly and leaves no lacing.

Smells of roasted barley, raisin, oak, and a bit of vanilla.

Tastes of sweet barley, vanilla, dried dates, with a slight citrus and pine background. pretty well rounded.

Mouthfeel is a little weak. Low carbonation. Near the end of the glass it starts feeling oily.

All in all not a bad beer. Not something that will be on my list of keeping around the house. For the 10.99 a four pack, I would rather be drinking a Dirty Bastard for 8.99(which is quite delicious, by the way).

ditch, Sep 16, 2009
Photo of BarrelO
3.13/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

A: Cloudy reddish-brown body. Head fades quickly and leaves no lacing.

S: Caramel, vanilla, and booze.

T: Strong malt, vanilla, and oak. Kind of like a mini-bourbon. Becomes cloying after a while.

M: Medium-bodied with little carbonation.

D: A total malt bomb with oak to intensify the effect. It was a bit much for me. If you like whiskey, though, it might be up your alley.

BarrelO, Sep 16, 2009
Photo of njmoons
4.38/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a golden red, with a nice head that dissipated slowly. An exceptional looking beer.

Smell of quality Ale yeast with apple, dark cherry notes and a hint of vanilla.

Taste was just what i am looking for in an Old Ale, malty ale with hints of dark cherry and apple. These flavors are present at the start remain through the middle of the sip. The ale finishes with a light alcohol burn and a typically ale tartness.

I found this highly drinkable for a high alcohol beer, and could have easily had a second.

njmoons, Sep 15, 2009
Photo of Vonerichs
3.8/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This pours very thick, bordering syrupy, and has a caramel color. There is very little head or lacing despite an aggressive pour.

This is weak in the smell department. It does have a caramel sweetness to it with a hint of vanilla. Even though the smell is faint, it is pleasant.

The dextrins give this a sweet smell of caramel and vanilla. There's a strange aftertaste of artificial sweetener. Up front and in the middle this is a good tasting ale, but the aftertaste is a little off-putting and resembles aspirin.

Mouthfeel is thick and syrupy, with a light cut of carbonation.

This has an alcoholic burn to it but it's expected at 9.3%. This is a sipper, but enjoyable.

Vonerichs, Sep 15, 2009
Photo of Vancer
3.55/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The ol' bastard pours a clear and neat amber / mahogany into my seldom used New Belgium snifter. No head on the initial pour,

Quirky sweet aroma of woody malt and orange cough syrup. Quaff also has these aspects hitting home - the orange syrup is a strange addition indeed and seems to add a medicine aftertaste. Not hot alcohol, but distracting.

A summary on this brew would be; fairly on all accounts; tasty, boozy, sweet and drinkable. Rates a B grade perfectably.

Vancer, Sep 12, 2009
Photo of pinotboy007
3.85/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

From notes on 9/6/09 in Lexington, VA. Poured into a Pinot Noir glass:

A - Vigorous pour reveals a deep copper ale with a cream-colored cap and modest lacing.

S - Sort of like a Scotch ale; sweet leather, malts, mocha/vanilla.

T - Off sweet tea w/malt and peat; maybe even some banana and Indian cardamom. Seems a tad boozy. Not much heat.

M - Creamy and somewhat dense but still a bit refreshing.

D - The jury's still out; not sure how to rate it. I'd drink it again and I suspect it's better on tap.

pinotboy007, Sep 11, 2009
Photo of JRed
4.22/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours sediment-free, brown-amber hue with small white head. A gorgeous scent of cranberries, caramel, spice, slight egg nog, and a buttery, vanilla cream character. Whew! Tasty stuff. That buttery vanilla cream begins and lingers through to the aftertaste. Toffee, caramel, spice, dried apple skins, sweet alcohol seeps through the thick flavors during the finish mostly. Light carb in body with a mildy thick, syrupy mouthfeel. This is a dangerously tasty ale at over 9% ABV and wonderful to sit down with and consider closely.

JRed, Sep 06, 2009
Photo of alcstradamus
3.8/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a murky copper color, hard pour yields not much more than a quarter inch of quickly receding head.

Smell is caramel with deep wood and alcohol notes. Floral hops are quite pungent as well.

Taste starts off with some nice caramel malts and oak, but a little bit of mustiness creeps in and prevents the flavor from really shining to its true potential. Lots of bitter pine hops on the back end. Tastes sort of like an aged american barleywine, the musty aspect is the only real negative.

Medium bodied, some alcohol burn in the finish. Perhaps needs some time, I was surprised at hotness of this one.

Nice beer, the alcohol heat is the downfall in terms of drinkability though. Worth buying maybe once a year, but I wouldn't want it much more than that.

alcstradamus, Sep 05, 2009
Photo of jdg204
3.5/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Good old Abe's Beer Shop in Bethlehem provided yet another chance for a new Founders brew. Founders and I are on a fantastic winning streak together and I'm excited to see if we can keep it going.

A: Slightly hazed orangeish brown with a thin head that quickly disappears.

S: Strong alcohol aroma, thick with dark fruit, vanilla, and bourbon. Strong in all aspects.

T: Very full flavor with dark fruits, vanilla, and a strong boozey flavor. Undertone is very bitter but I'm not wild about the balance. The barrel aging was a surprise and didn't help the beer. Flavors don't flow together well at all and it feels messy.

M: Full bodied and very boozey/ bitter on the aftertaste, sounds pleasant but it's not really.

D: This was a very surprising brew, not much of an Old Ale it reminded me of an English Barleywine (and not a great one at that). The flavors didn't seem to flow together very well and to be honest the whole brew felt a bet messy. It was a still a decent brew but certainly not up to the high standards I have for Founders. Try it if you're looking for something unique but don't expect an Old Ale.

jdg204, Sep 04, 2009
Photo of corby112
2.6/5  rDev -35.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a murky dark chestnut brown color with a slightly yellowish jaundiced looking hues with a thin beige head that quickly disappears leaving no lacing.

Very earthy, swampy aroma with a little bit of creek water and old boot. Slight chocolate maltiness with subtle hops and a sweet alcohol presence which is very strong.

Again, the flavor is very earthy and leathery with a strong sweet alcohol presence, leathery maltiness, subtle hops, slight chocolate, brown sugar and dirt. There's also a strange vegetable presence with is quite unpleasant and a dirty bitter finish.

This was quite a disappointment for me especially since I love pretty much everything from Founders and enjoy the occasional old ale. I will have to revisit again in the future.

corby112, Sep 04, 2009
Photo of jbone78
4.33/5  rDev +8%
look: 2 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I got these through trade with marvin312.I have had this one since March 9. This is the date I wrote on the bottle. I am drinking it because I noticed a small amount of oxidation and I recommend waxing Founders bottles.

A- It looked clear in the bottle. It poured muddy orange/red into my snifter. Small amount of head, laces ok.
S- Very oaky smell. I really like the smell of oak in a beer.
T- Oak, spice, sweet malt favors. I like the taste of this beer, but not sure it fits the Ole ale genre. Maybe it does? Either way, I like it.
M- Not super malty, smooth, unlike Ole ales.
D- Very easy drinking beer. I am only going to call this one ale from now on. I deserves it!
Nice ALE!

-Bye

jbone78, Sep 03, 2009
Photo of drtth
4.05/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Lightly chilled and poured into a Duvel glass. Glass of cold water on the side to sip from periodically.

Appearance: The beer pours out a clear reddish brown with a ½" tan head that persists for a few minutes then recedes to ring of foam and a thin cover for the liquid. Eventually the cover disappears as well. At first sipping leaves a ring of foam and some sheets that turn into lacing. Later the lacing becomes leggy and sparse.

Smell: The aroma gives a first impression of honey sweetness with some vanilla and caramel mixed in. While there are hints of spicy hops, its almost like this one has been aged in a charred oak barrel.

Taste: The flavor starts almost too sweet until some bitterness kicks in about midway through. Again there is the vanilla and caramel mix in the sweetness, just as if the malt rich beer had been aged in a bourbon barrel. There is an earthy hop bitterness in background and just the faintest hint of well concealed alcohol. There also seems to be a lightly burnt character to the caramel and toffee.

Mouthfeel: The mouth feel is smooth, velvety and slightly sticky with some minimal soft carbonation coming into play. The finish is long and begins with both caramel and vanilla sweetness that then turns into a dry earthy bitterness before the sweetness re-emerges just sitting there way in the back of the mouth daring the bitterness to chase it away.

Drinkability: This is a drinkable beer in the sense that it will be easy to have another some other day. The combination of the high ABV and the sweetness though make it a sipping beer and something to finish off the night with rather than a beer to drink during an evening of dinner and conversation with friends.

drtth, Sep 01, 2009
Photo of civilizedpsycho
3.58/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured bottle into pint glass.

Appearance: Dark amber color that was pretty clear with a small and fizzy head.

Smell: Quite a unique smell. It's mostly dominated by an assortment of fruit aromas (blackberry, maybe). There's no overpowering malt or hop smells.

Taste: It starts off somewhat light on flavor with a bit of the fruit making an appearance. It's in the aftertaste where the flavor really comes in. The fruit and alcohol combination provide almost an assault on the palate. I like strong flavored beers, and I like this one, but it might be a little too strong for my taste.

Mouthfeel: It has a fair body that is moderately thick, but not too much.

Drinkability: With the overpowering aftertaste and alcohol content, this beer is a little much. It's good, and I might like to have some on hand to have once in a while when I'm in the right mood; but this is not something I could drink at a party or have a few in a night.

Note: I also tried this in a wine glass and to be perfectly honest: It tastes better. The flavor is still strong, but it doesn't bombard the palate like it did in the pint glass.

civilizedpsycho, Aug 30, 2009
Photo of jdubjacket
3.9/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured one of these into a Stone Barleywine glass.

Pours a copper color with ruby hues. No head to speak of and no lacing.

Smell is sweet alcohol, some brown sugar, and dark fruits.

Taste is dark fruits - raisins and prunes namely, sweet brown sugar, and sweet alcohol. Alcohol is little prominent, but it doesn't detract from the beer.

Overall, a good beer. Tough to drink more than one due to the ABV, but a solid brew.

jdubjacket, Aug 25, 2009
Photo of hardy008
3.83/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a copper color with no head. Smell is of sweet caramel malt, a variety of fruit, and a whiff of alcohol. This is a sweet beer with noticeable alcohol, and hop bitterness which makes this one nicely balanced. Can taste pears and dark fruits. Medium to full bodied, well carbonated. The drinkability is good, but the alcohol is more noticeable than I would like. This is still a good beer which I would buy again.

hardy008, Aug 23, 2009
Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale) from Founders Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 3,630 ratings.